I’ve long supported the Second Amendment. But, as the years pass and the body counts rise, it is fading. Like my support for marriage equality and gay rights, only in reverse.
So, the latest is in Milwaukee. The particulars hardly matter. If they did, they likely would not have an impact on my view of the Second Amendment. If they did, I could brush this off as an isolated case.
The Second Amendment was enacted as a means by which the populace could resist a government that had become too tyrannical. These days, I see our government as too disorganized to pull off tyranny and our populace as too complacent to resist if it did. That’s on one side of the scale. On the other, we just have story after story after story where a guy (and it’s almost always a guy) goes and shoots (and it’s almost always shooting and not mass stabbings or whatever) a bunch of people, and now they’re dead. Real people. Everything they ever had or might have had has been taken from them at the end of a gun.
I know folks have their Red Dawn fantasies that are precious to them And I’m willing to be talked back into supporting the Second Amendment. But, at this particular moment, its utility looks awfully questionable to me. And it will probably continue to look questionable to me until: a) mass murders stop happening; b) mass murders start happening with weapons other than guns; c) guns are used to forcibly resist prominent bits of tyranny; or d) some combination of the above.
Incidentally, I say this even as I recognize that gun control is dead as a political issue. If there were any questions, they were put to rest when, in the last political debate, President Obama could barely bring himself to suggest mildly that we should limit access to firearms by criminals and the mentally ill.